To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government plans to take to (a) reduce textiles waste in the UK, (b) improve the environmental sustainability of materials and production processes used in the production of textiles sold in the UK, (c) tackle exploitative labour practices used in the supply chains of textiles sold in the UK, (d) tackle lack of access to clothing in the context of the rise in the cost of living and (e) support consumers to make sustainable clothing choices.
The Government’s Resources & Waste Strategy for England identified textiles as a priority sector for action. We fund Textiles 2030, a voluntary partnership with industry to reduce the environmental impact of textiles, with signatories covering over 62% of all clothing put on the UK market. This programme is underpinned by ambitious science-based targets, including halving the carbon footprint of new products and reducing the water footprint by 30%, both by 2030.
Our landmark Environment Act 2021 provides general powers to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility schemes, design standards and require information on the resource efficiency of products, which will enable us to act more effectively
With those powers in mind, we are considering what wider framework of policy measures could best help reduce the environmental footprint of fashion and building our evidence base. This could include options to reduce waste through increased producer responsibility for goods at end of life, measures to drive increased reuse and longevity of garments as well as better product design and information standards to support consumers to make the most environmentally friendly choice.